330 • Flat fingers « Pianist to Pianist, by Jura Margulis
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I love this – especially its pertinency to op 10 no 2
I love that his crab and scorpion sting follow at the end. We use these below (dog paw is his crab and sting us three/four finger pre-extension with masking pedal).
Try this blend:
Flat fingers, first: giving gravity tap. This is taubman.
dog paw on the first of the kernel – thinking it as the last (chord) tone of the kernel pattern . You end up here that is (back in dog paw repose). Its a little counter intuitive. So ignore how you were taught to think of beat notation!
Wrist is low at the end (preparing for an extension to follow in the next kernel). Yes that means the very first chord is wrist-low! Play the kernel leading up to it without sounding, to get into the kernel-rhythm.
To set up the following 7tap kernel (the last of which is that wrist chord in paw position), extend the paw by simply extending the forearm (raising wrist) while also extending three and four fingers as a unit (without playing). This opens the hand (as a sideeffect of extending three over a raised wrist. Formally, you get palm extension (without abducting 1 and 5)
Pedal while you are doing this – to hide the non legato! Thats what chopin means, by his short pedal point.
The phrase “always legato” in this piece refers to chopins terminology (of how to deliver his taxonomy of articulations). The exception to the general rules is as above – for advanced students only. See last post. As taubman said, thats what the pedal is for! (Simulating legato, in gravity-tap playing)
So what is the middle chord within the kernel there to teach? Its teaches chromatic hand and arm, to use the taubman language. Mild rotation, in a flat finger tapping, in a post extension kernel heading for palm flexing (dog paw) will set up a bounce reflex on some of the taps. When accelerated with rotation, this propels the lateral movement (within the kernels scale, or monodic consonances – to use a chopin era phrase). The forearm will auto adjust – responding to the reflex – giving you proper taubman hard and arm.
Im not too surprised that the golinsky teaching fails to deliver all this! Its difficult to communicate. Mix it with chopin teaching method, it all hangs together.
And don’t forget the “arcane” flat finger technique – well written up for bel canto cantabile on a piano. Without it, its hopeless to do what chopin intended in this excercise
But thats not to say u cant also play it as abby whiteside taught. That works too (mechanically and in the no injury sense). but it fails the cantabile test! Elements of the pieces muddle section demand white-side technique, mostly to rest a moment once all the kernels start to change direction so much.
Font forget to thump out a strong beat in the left! Its cut time really. Rubato in each of the upper hands intra-kernel passages is fine, but keep the beat in the left. Its your self conductor waving his baton to sync up the band of players!
As you get good you can string the kernels together in longer phrases. Then you will use the left hands own very cannily crafted rhythm to feel an almost latin groove to this piece! Long live el commandante (che, castro et al etc) enabling cuban rhythms to remain free from yanqui jazz!
The middle section is the mist fun, since chopin adds in those specifucally chromatic modulations (augmented sixth giving a submediant enharmonic shift point). No doubt he was just learning those formally in his theory class, feeling them out as tonal shifts. Provably influence by bach’s pure mastery of these, here, in oratorio and chorale form.